Professional Certified Language Translation and Determining Home Country for Estate Tax Purposes

We’ve blogged about multilingual legal translation and interpretation services in the context of estate taxes on US citizens living abroad. Under current US law, US citizens enjoy a $5 million exemption from estate and gift taxes – a benefit that many non-citizens with US assets are not entitled to. In fact, the current exemption for non-citizens is set at $60,000.00. In such a case, the determining factor for what is and is not taxed is where the home country is.

According to the law, if the US is not the home country, then the $60,000 lifetime estate and gift tax exemption applies. To determine whether or not the US is in fact the home country, the IRS will examine such factors as:

  • Visa status
  • Locations and values of other residences (real property)
  • Location of family members and close friends
  • Where personal property is located – especially valuable items like fine art, currency, cash, stocks, and bank accounts
  • The location of business interests
  • Voter registration
  • Driver’s license
  • Intended place of burial

When presenting such evidence, all documentation from a foreign country will need to include translation from a foreign language into English. If it is found that the non-citizen is not domiciled in the US (non-resident alien), then only assets located within the US will be subject to gift and estate taxes.

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by Legal Translator & Court Interpreter

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